This late 1930s black and white travelogue film about Le Havre and Etretat Normandy pre-dates their invasion in 1940. Most of what is seen would be totally destroyed so this film serves as photographic record of what was. It is part of “A Screen Traveler” series created by Andre de la Varre as theatrical shorts. The camera is placed at the brow of the French SS Normandie ocean liner facing the water. Views of its deck with tennis, lounging, drink cart, and observation viewers are seen as it crosses the Atlantic Ocean and glides into Le Havre. The dock is full of people. [This ship would be seized by the U.S. in New York in September 1939 and renamed the USS Lafayette] (:50-2:30). Le Havre is panned from above. People walk past the semaphore of the north jetty to watch the ocean liners arrive and depart (2:33-3:15). 1930s Southampton Le Havre is a bustling port (3:16-3:40). The 1914 Le Monument aux Morts (Monument to the Dead) is shown in Place Gambetta [Many dead would actually be buried around it in 1944 since the cemeteries were full.] (3:48-4:10). A swimming pool is an enclosed area in the port (4:20-4:30). A view of the harbor waterfront is shown followed by the square. [The buildings shown around this square in the following footage were all destroyed in 1944. Only the Monument to the Dead survived the bombing.] The Exchange Building has beautiful fountains and landscaping (4:35-4:56). The train station with its clock tower was on Strasbourg Boulevard, which has multiple trolleys, and 1930s cars, convertibles, and delivery trucks (4:58-5:52). Large containers full of flowers are attached to tall lamp posts (5:54). The Rue de Paris is lined with shops (6:09). The majestic Town Hall is seen through tall open gates. A gardener works in ornately designed flower beds. The statue of Francois I stands out front (6:12-7:00). Further down the Boulevard is the Monument of the Belgian Reconnaissance (7:17-7:25). The view from the Sugarloaf Memorial looks down over the harbor. Women wearing 1930s dresses and hats watch as an ocean liner is seen in the distance (7:26-8:12). The film switches to Etretat. A line of 1920s and 1930s automobiles are parked at the Les Halles timber-frame market building and the street is shown (8:16-8:44). A bird’s-eye view is shown of Etretat and its white curved beach that ends in the arched cliff with its needle-like rock structure at the end. Sunbathers and visitors enjoy the beach and the view (8:45-9:42). 1930s men’s and women’s one-piece bathing suits and swim caps are shown up-close as they dive off a slanted diving board on wheels and walk in the surf. A pretty woman in a white bathing suit sits in the sand and puts on shoes (9:43-10:21). A small chapel, Notre Dame de la Garde, is located on one of the limestone cliffs. Nearby, the Falaise Amont Monument commemorated two French aviators. [The Germans destroyed it in 1942.] (10:29-10:57).
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This film is part of the Periscope Film LLC archive, one of the largest historic military, transportation, and aviation stock footage collections in the USA. Entirely film backed, this material is available for licensing in 24p HD, 2k and 4k. For more information visit http://www.PeriscopeFilm.com